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On Perceptions of Fairness: The Role of Valuations, Outside Options, and Information in Ultimatum Bargaining Games

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  • Pamela Schmitt

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Abstract

This study examines fairness perceptions in ultimatum bargaining games with asymmetric payoffs, outside options, and different information states. Fairness perceptions were dependent on treatment conditions. Specifically, when proposers had higher chip values, dollar offers were lower than when responders had higher chip values. When responders had an outside option, offers were higher and were rejected less often than when proposers had an outside option. However, a given offer was rejected more often when responders had an outside option. Therefore, similar to the first mover advantage, the “advantaged” or “entitled” player received a higher monetary payoff than they would otherwise. When there was complete information about payoff amounts (payoff conversion rates and outside options), rejections occurred more often, and given offer amounts were rejected more often than when there was incomplete information. When there was incomplete information, offers were higher in the initial rounds than in the final rounds. These results suggest that proposers made offers strategically, making offers that would not be rejected, rather than out of a concern for fairness. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Pamela Schmitt, 2004. "On Perceptions of Fairness: The Role of Valuations, Outside Options, and Information in Ultimatum Bargaining Games," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 7(1), pages 49-73, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:expeco:v:7:y:2004:i:1:p:49-73
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1026210021955
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    1. Güth, Werner & Kocher, Martin G., 2014. "More than thirty years of ultimatum bargaining experiments: Motives, variations, and a survey of the recent literature," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 396-409.
    2. Cecchi, Francesco & Melesse, Mequanint Biset, 2016. "Formal law and customary change: A lab-in-field experiment in Ethiopia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 67-85.
    3. repec:kap:expeco:v:20:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10683-016-9486-z is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Michal Krawczyk, 2011. "A model of procedural and distributive fairness," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(1), pages 111-128, January.
    5. Ernesto Reuben & Frans van Winden, 2005. "Negative Reciprocity and the Interaction of Emotions and Fairness Norms," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-014/1, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Pfaff, Alexander & Vélez, Maria Alejandra, 2012. "Efficiency and equity in negotiated resource transfers: Contributions and limitations of trust with limited contracts," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 55-63.
    7. repec:eee:ecolec:v:144:y:2018:i:c:p:36-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Smith, Vernon L., 2010. "Theory and experiment: What are the questions?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 3-15, January.
    9. Cadigan, John & Schmitt, Pamela & Shupp, Robert & Swope, Kurtis, 2011. "The holdout problem and urban sprawl: Experimental evidence," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 72-81, January.
    10. Ben D'Exelle & Els Lecoutere & Bjorn Van Campenhout, 2010. "Social status and bargaining when resources are scarce: Evidence from a field lab experiment," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 10-09, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    11. Amos Witztum, 2016. "Experimental Economics, Game Theory and Das Adam Smith Problem," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 528-556, September.
    12. Paul Pecorino & Mark Van Boening, 2010. "Fairness in an Embedded Ultimatum Game," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(2), pages 263-287, May.
    13. Nikiforakis, Nikos & Oechssler, Jörg & Shah, Anwar, 2014. "Hierarchy, coercion, and exploitation: An experimental analysis," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 155-168.
    14. Hennig-Schmidt, Heike & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rilke, Rainer Michael & Walkowitz, Gari, 2013. "Self-Serving Use of Equity Rules in Bargaining with Asymmetric Outside Options," IZA Discussion Papers 7625, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Susanne Lechner & Renate Ohr, 2011. "The right of withdrawal in the treaty of Lisbon: a game theoretic reflection on different decision processes in the EU," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 357-375, December.
    16. repec:eee:soceco:v:69:y:2017:i:c:p:4-17 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Reuben, Ernesto & van Winden, Frans, 2010. "Fairness perceptions and prosocial emotions in the power to take," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 908-922, December.
    18. Simona Cicognani & Anna D’Ambrosio & Werner Güth & Simone Pfuderer & Matteo Ploner, 2015. "Community projects: an experimental analysis of a fair implementation process," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 44(1), pages 109-132, January.
    19. Mikhael Shor, 2009. "Procedural Justice in Simple Bargaining Games," Working papers 2012-25, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    20. Gianluca Grimalda & Anirban Kar & Eugenio Proto, 2016. "Procedural fairness in lotteries assigning initial roles in a dynamic setting," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 819-841, December.
    21. Kohnz, Simone, 2006. "Self-Serving Biases in Bargaining," Discussion Papers in Economics 899, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
    22. Alan Schwartz, 2008. "How Much Irrationality Does the Market Permit?," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 131-159, January.
    23. Pecorino, Paul & Van Boening, Mark, 2015. "Costly voluntary disclosure in a screening game," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 16-28.
    24. Sven Fischer, 2005. "Inequality Aversion in Ultimatum Games with Asymmetric Conflict Payoffs - A Theoretical and Experimental Analysis -," Papers on Strategic Interaction 2005-36, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Strategic Interaction Group.

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    ultimatum games; bargaining; experiments; fairness;

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